CURING THE INFAMOUS BRONCO LEAN

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johnl
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CURING THE INFAMOUS BRONCO LEAN

Post by johnl » Thu Sep 09, 2004 5:48 pm

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CURING THE INFAMOUS BRONCO LEAN

Drivers side lean or less common, passenger side lean in the front of your Early Bronco distracts from it's appearance.. This condition is commonly caused when replacing stock or older "stiffer" style front coil springs with the newer soft riding more flexible coil springs. It can also be caused by replacing your c bushings alone and not replacing the springs. Read on:

If you have the dreaded "Bronco Lean", chances are you have recently replaced the coils with newer soft coils or you have replaced your "C" bushings. This lean can be measured at the bottom edge of the front fenders, bottom edge of front reflectors or any other handy place, making sure that any body damage or bad body bushings won't affect the numbers. . Quite commonly the lean is 2" or more in the front of the Bronco. The cure to this problem follows:

You must disconnect the entire front axle assembly from the Bronco. Disconnect and remove the front coil springs, disconnect the frame to axle brake line, disconnect the front housing breather line, remove the radius arm nuts from the rear mounts. Remove the rear original rubber bushings or aftermarket poly bushings that are on the end of the radius arms. With a set of jack stands supporting the axle (under the front hub assembly on either side works good) lower the threaded end of the radius arms down so they touch the LEVEL concrete floor. It's important that the floor surface is a level, flat surface. With a floor jack under the "pumpkin" or gear housing of the Dana 44 or Dana 30 differential, this makes this step very easy. Look very carefully at the ends of the radius arms. Do they BOTH touch the floor at the SAME time? If one radius arm is touching the floor and the other is not, then this is the most common cause of your Bronco leaning to one side or the other. You must have both radius arms parallel to each other. Are the C bushings installed correctly? Remove them and check the writing on the inside of the poly style bushings to verify correct installation. This step is critical. If the c bushings were installed wrong, then improper installation could be causing the lean.

To correct the lean, you must loosen the 4 bolts that hold the radius arm caps on. Randomly choose one side to start with. By loosening the cap bolts on this side almost all the way out and then tightening them back diagonally or slightly quicker at the top or bottom (try different ways), the c bushing will seat differently You can vary the distance off the floor of the offending radius arm by 2" or more by proceeding this way. However, sometimes you cannot get the threaded end of the radius arm that you want closer to the floor (more parallel to the other arm), only farther off the floor!! If this is the case, then you must try to get the arm back as close as parallel to the offending arm and then tighten/torque the radius arm bolts. Proceed to loosen the cap bolts on the other radius arm and repeat the steps you've already tried on the first arm. It may take 5 or 6 times on either or both radius arm caps before you will get the arms parallel to each other. Keep trying. It is hit or miss.

The bushings are IMO, the main culprit for front end lean when new suspensions are installed and the lean is a new condition. Of course this method or example won't solve your problem if your springs are bad or you have other front end problems. However, many Early Bronco owners have emailed me saying that this has cured the "infamous front end lean" in their Broncos.

Submitted by Brian Cooke.

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bronko69er
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Post by bronko69er » Wed Aug 23, 2006 3:54 pm

I had a bit of a driver lean problem as well. I recently replaced badly worn rubber shackle and spring eye bushings with poly bushings. This seemed to cure some of the lean.

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